Malaysia: Marine police fear for fish industry

The Star 3 Mar 17;

BALIK PULAU: Marine police confiscated more than RM18.3mil worth of fishing equipment and illegally netted seafood last year, said Bukit Aman head of administration (marine police) Senior Asst Comm Abdul Manaf Othman.

He said this included equipment and catches from Vietnamese and Thai vessels seized in 630 cases nationwide.

“The goods were confiscated because they were fishing in our waters.

“The amount seized this year is huge compared with that of the previous year of RM3.8mil. It is almost RM15mil more,” he told a press conference after a National Blue Ocean Strategy meeting with the Department of Fisheries at a restaurant in Batu Maung, Penang, yesterday.

Department of Fisheries’ Resources Protection Division head of enforcement Abdullah Jaafar said the use of destructive fishing equipment had resulted in the decline of fishery resources globally.

Abdullah said that among the destructive equipment used were trawlers (pukat tunda), push nets (pukat rawa sorong) and pukat buaya.

He said it was also illegal to use electricity, explosives and poisons.

“The threat to fishery resources is worrying,” he said.

Abdullah said that based on the department’s intelligence and calculations, there were around 1,100 illegal nets currently being used off the coasts of Penang, Perlis, Kedah, Perak and Selangor.

“We ask the fishermen to cooperate with us and understand the importance of taking care of our fishery resources.

“Destructive equipment, which is prohibited under the law, will damage the stock of juvenile fish that haven’t had the opportunity to grow,” he said.

He said noncompliance would result in enforcement action being taken by the Department of Fisheries or marine police.

Fish stockpile to be released to tackle rising prices
The Star 3 Mar 17;

ALOR SETAR: The National Fishermen’s Association (Nekmat)will release its stockpile of fish at 50% lower than the market price, following escalating prices that have resulted in even the common kembong (Rastrelliger mackerels) being sold at RM22 per kg.

Its board member Abdul Hamid Bahari said the initiative was taken in collaboration with the Fisheries Development Authority of Malaysia (LKIM) and Kedah Fishermen’s Association to help the consumers.

“Nekmat will provide a stockpile of 2,000 tonnes to the southern region while the Kedah Fishermen’s Association will provide up to 600 tonnes to the northern region,” he told reporters here yesterday.

Abdul Hamid said A-sized fish to be sold at RM12 per kg would be delivered throughout the state, including the rural areas of Sungai Tiang and Pokok Sena, in special lorries weekly.

“We won’t earn any profit, but with the government’s subsidy, this is the only way for us to help those facing difficulties obtaining fish supplies,” he added.

He said the high price of fish could not be avoided due to the weather. Nevertheless, the situation would improve in a week’s time.

“Previously, fishermen could haul between 100kg and 200kg daily but these days, they can manage only 5kg,” he said.

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